Saturday’s action in the Pirates’ minor league organization began with a double header sweep in the Gulf Coast League, making up for yesterday’s rain out:
GCL Pirates 3, GCL Blue Jays 2 (Game 1)
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Luis Heredia pitched 3 scoreless innings to begin this game, facing only one batter over the minimum. After retiring the side in order in the 1st, Heredia hit a batter in the 2nd inning but promptly erased that runner with a double play. He walked a batter with two outs in the 3rd, but C Ryan Hornback threw that runner out trying to steal second base.
The Pirates scored their first run in the 1st inning. CF Junior Sosa singled and stole second base, then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. 1B Jose Osuna’s RBI single plated Sosa. LF Ping-Hung Chi led off the 3rd inning with a walk, and Sosa bunted him to second. A ground out moved Chi to third, and he scored on DH Gregory Polanco’s line drive single into right field.
David Jagoditsh relieved Heredia to begin the 4th. He pitched a scoreless 4th, then gave up the Jay’s first run in the 5th, on a single, two stolen bases, and an RBI single. The Pirates got the run right back in the bottom of the inning. 3B Francisco Aponte walked, and both Polanco and Osuna singled, to load the bases. Aponte scored on Hornback’s ground out to third. RF Gavi Nivar also grounded to third, but the fielder’s choice had Polanco out at the plate. The Pirates were up 3-1.
Jagoditsh began the top of the 6th with two outs, and then was relieved by Miguel Mendez. The first batter Mendez faced smacked a home run, to make the score 3-2. Mendez walked the lead-off batter in the 7th, but Hornback threw him out trying to steal second, and Mendez struck out the next two batters to end the game. Jagoditsh earned his first win of the season, and Mendez earned his first Save.
GCL Pirates 1, GCL Blue Jays 0 (Game 2)
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Orlando Castro earned his first win for the Pirates with 6 scoreless innings of work. He allowed 6 hits, no walks, and struck out 2 batters. In both the 2nd and 3rd innings, the first two Jays’ batters hit back-to-back singles, but both times, Castro got an out (strikeout, and tag out at third), then induced an inning-ending double play. Castro also gave up singles in the 4th and 6th inning, but left both those runners on base.
The Pirates were also scoreless over their first 6 innings, held to just 3 hits, and falling victim to 7 strikeouts. 2B Jodaneli Carvajal singled in the 1st inning, but was out in a double play. DH Jose Osuna led off the 3rd inning with a single up the middle, and was left on base. Osuna singled again in the 5th, and was again left stranded. The top of the 7th began with 3B Yhonathan Barrios working a walk. He moved to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a sacrifice bunt by C Jon Schwind. RF Gregory Polanco drove Barrios in with a line drive into right field, and that was the only run of the game.
Joseph Parsons replaced Castro on the mound for the 9th inning and pitched a perfect inning to earn his second Save.
Some Sunday action in the Pirates’ minor league organization… the GCL Pirates had the day off.
Harrisburg Senators 6, Altoona Curve 0
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The Curve were again held scoreless this afternoon. That means that in the last 5 games (44 innings), the Curve have scored just one run. Today the team was held to 3 hits, and those were the only Curve batters to reach base. The first 10 batters were retired in order. 2B Brock Holt doubled in the 4th inning, then the next 6 batters were retired. Pinch-hitter Brad Chalk singled in the 6th, and was out at second when CF Starling Marte grounded into a force out. The Curve also went down in order in the 7th and 8th innings. Marte doubled with one out in the 9th, but two fly outs left Marte still standing on second base when the game ended.
Phillip Irwin made the start for Altoona. He allowed two singles over the first two innings, but ran into difficulty in the 4th. A single began the inning, then Irwin recorded two outs. That was followed by an RBI single, a double, a 2-RBI single, and a throwing error. One more run scored on a wild pitch, to give the Senators a 4-0 lead. Irwin finished his afternoon with those 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, no walks, with 6 strikeouts in 5 innings of work.
Bryan Morris relieved Irwin and pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing a walk and a single in the 7th. Tim Alderson pitched the 8th, and gave up a single and a 2-run homer for the Senators’ final two runs.
The Pirates have signed 23rd round draft pick RHP Jordan Cooper to a contract. He had been a pitcher for Kentucky, and that experience might get him a start at State College. Here is a list of all the 2011 draft picks, with notations for which ones have signed.
Friday’s game action:
Harrisburg Senators 2, Altoona Curve 0
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A 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th broke the scoreless tie for the only scoring in this pitching duel. Jeff Locke pitched 6 scoreless frames for the Curve, scattering 3 singles and a walk over his first 3 innings. The he retired the Senators in order for the next 3 innings. He threw 78 pitches (48 strikes) in those 6 innings. Bryan Morris pitched a scoreless 7th, allowing just a single. That base runner moved to second base on a balk, which started an argument by Altoona manager PJ Forbes — and resulted in Forbes being ejected. Michael Dubee, back with the Curve after some time with Indianapolis, gave up a lone single in the 8th, and Noah Krol allowed a single and a walk in the 9th, but both kept the Senators from scoring.
But the Curve weren’t scoring either. They pounded out 7 hits, including two by SS Jordy Mercer. Mercer’s triple i n the 7th was the only extra-base hit for the Curve, and the only time that a Curve base runner reached as far as third base. RF Andrew Lambo also walked twice. CF Starling Marte opened the game with a single, but was thrown out at second after Mercer’s strikeout. 1B Matt Curry and LF Brad Chalk both singled in the 2nd, but Curry was picked off second base, and Chalk was thrown out trying to steal second. 2B Brock Holt singled in the 4th, and pinch-hitter Anthony Norman singled in the 10th and stole second base.
Less action than usual for a Sunday afternoon — the Bradenton Marauders are still on their All-Star break, and the game between the West Virginia Power and the Lakewood BlueClaws was cancelled due to wet grounds at Appalachian Power Park. The South Atlantic League All-Star Game will be held on Tuesday.
Altoona Curve 4, Harrisburg Senators 1
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LF Quincy Latimore and RF Anthony Norman posted 2 hits each, and Latimore scored 3 of the Curve’s 4 runs as Altoona took the win. Latimore’s first hit was a double lined into left field in the bottom of the 2nd inning. He scored on Norman’s single. The two combined again in the 4th inning for another run. With two outs, Latimore walked, then Norman singled into right field. When the Harrisburg right fielder made a throwing error, Latimore had the chance to round third and score. Latimore homered to lead off the 7th inning, and at that point, he was responsible for all of the Curve runs.
With former Pirate farmhand Jimmy Barthmaier on the mound for Harrisburg in the 8th, CF Starling Marte began the inning with a single. Marte advanced to second base on a ground out by 3B Jeremy Farrell, then he stole third base. C Tony Sanchez’s RBI single up the middle brought Marte in to score the final run for the Curve.
Phillip Irwin made the start for the Curve and pitched 6 scoreless innings. He hit a batter in the top of the 1st, then retired the next 13 Harrisburg batters, until he gave up a lone single in the 5th. He allowed a single and a walk in the 6th, for the biggest threat he had faced, but left both on base to end the inning. Bryan Morris relieved Irwin to begin the 7th inning. He put the side down in order in that inning, but gave up an unearned run in the 8th. A throwing error by Sanchez, a double, and an RBI ground out brought in the run. Morris allowed a single in the 9th, but did not allow another run to score. Irwin won his first game of the season, and Morris earned his third Save.
All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost on Tuesday evening…..
New Britain Rock Cats 10, Altoona Curve 4
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It was a tough night for Curve starter Bryan Morris, who gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work. Morris got into trouble in the top of the 1st. He gave up a lead-off single, then set down the next two batters on fly outs. Three straight singles and his own throwing error on the final single (a bunt) brought in two runs. The top of the 2nd was worse — three singles and three walks, with a throwing error by LF Quincy Latimore, and an RBI ground out brought in another 5 runs for New Britain, for a 7-0 lead. Morris gave up a single in each of the next two innings, but retired those two runners with a pair of double plays.
The Curve got three of the runs back in the 3rd inning. DH Jose Hernandez doubled, and scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single. Chalk came in on 2B Brock Holt’s triple, then SS Jordy Mercer doubled, plating Holt. That cut the Rock Cats’ lead to 7-4.
But the Rock Cats added to their lead with 3 runs off reliever Tim Alderson. A single, a ground out, and a wild pitch put the lead-off batter on third in the 5th, and two more walks and a wild pitch brought him in. A walk, another wild pitch, an RBI single and an RBI double gave the Rock Cats 2 more runs in the 6th, for a 10-3 lead.
The Curve put base runners on in most of the remaining innings of the game, but they were left stranded. Holt singled and CF Starling Marte walked with two outs in the 5th, and the Curve did not put two runners on base again until the 9th. 1B Matt Curry walked to begin the 9th, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled. Curry went to third on the hit, and he scored on Hernandez’s sacrifce fly.